- Don’t Be Fooled: Nothing Is Priced In – The Business Insider
there do seem to be a whole slew of developments starting to weigh on collective investor sentiment right now, which will only get heavier in the upcoming weeks and months. No one can tell you that any of these negative and ongoing developments herald an imminent market crash or how exactly they will impact shares. What I can say with confidence, though, is that none of them are insignificant bumps in the road. They certainly did not "remove any uncertainty" from the markets and they have in no meaningful way been "priced in" by these markets either.
- Former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor had US spy agency ties – Boston.com
When Charles G. Taylor tied bed sheets together to escape from a second-floor window at the Plymouth House of Correction on Sept. 15, 1985, he was more than a fugitive trying to avoid extradition. He was a sought-after source for American intelligence.
- Intolerable Stench: Confronting the Threat of Industrial Pig Farms – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International
Tourists are increasingly discovering the rural charms of northern Germany. But with industrial pig breeding operations moving in, that charm may soon by destroyed by the stench of swine slurry. Locals are up in arms — but factory farming may be the region’s last chance to create jobs.
- 7 Charged as F.B.I. Closes a Top File-Sharing Site – NYTimes.com
Megaupload, one of the most popular so-called locker services on the Internet, allowed users to anonymously transfer large files like movies and music. Media companies have long accused it of abetting copyright infringement on a vast scale. In a grand jury indictment, Megaupload is accused of causing $500 million in damages to copyright owners and of making $175 million through selling ads and premium subscriptions.
- European banks prepare for worst, hoard cash | Reuters
Faced with 650 billion euros of debt coming due this year – almost 40 percent of which matures before the end of March – lenders are choosing to build up a cash cushion to ensure they can cover redemptions, creating a squeeze on the wider economy in the process.
- The Last King of Scotland | Credit Writedowns
In Scotland, one of the UK’s most venerated names, the Royal Bank of Scotland, a bank that prints its own bank notes as legal tender, has been eviscerated by the over-leveraging and risk-taking of its CEO Sir Fred Goodwin.
- Strip Fred the Shred of tainted knighthood demand MPs: Disgraced banker may finally be made to pay | Mail Online
Disgraced banker Sir Fred Goodwin faced growing calls last night to be stripped of his knighthood. David Cameron is ‘sympathetic’ to cross-party demands for the most reviled figure of the financial crisis to lose the honour bestowed on him for ‘services to banking’
- Understanding the Psychology of the Kiss-Up/Kick-Down Leader « lightkeepers
The KU/KD person is very charming and perhaps adored by those who are friends or equal-status colleagues. They go out of their way to compliment their peers or those they view as in higher positions. However, if you are a person who is seen as inferior or who has a lower position in a company or organization, watch out! You will be subject to a barrage of negativity and blame you may have never experienced before.
- Japan’s Currency Probably 25 Percent Overvalued, Goldman’s O’Neill Says – Bloomberg
The yen is probably 25 percent overvalued and Japan’s days of trade and current account surpluses "look to be finished," according to Jim O’Neill, the economist who coined the term BRIC a decade ago.
- Newt Gingrich’s College Records Show a Professor Hatching Big Plans – WSJ.com
A year into his first full-time teaching job, Newt Gingrich applied to be college president, submitting with his application a paper titled "Some Projections on West Georgia College’s Next Thirty Years."
- Interview: «Immer mehr Leute werden ihr Eigenheim verkaufen müssen» – News Wirtschaft: Unternehmen – tagesanzeiger.ch
Claudio Saputelli, Chefanalyst für Immobilien bei der UBS, zeichnet im Interview mit Tagesanzeiger.ch/Newsnet ein düsteres Bild für Eigenheimbesitzer. Diese sollten sich besser nicht in Sicherheit wiegen.
- Coronation Street smacking row: Hundreds of fuming viewers complain | Mail Online
Coronation Street has sparked a storm of protest from viewers after an episode showed a child being smacked.
- The rise of current account charges: the banks adopting Ryanair fee tactics | Mail Online
A Money Mail investigation reveals today how banks are adopting the tactics of budget airlines and hammering customers with hidden, rip-off fees for everything from duplicate statements to sending you a text message. These sneaky charges are often buried in the small print and disguise the true cost of using a current account – similar to the way budget airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet charge extras for so-called cheap flights.
- Photographs of the Loving’s interracial marriage at a time when it was banned in 16 states | Mail Online
Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal. But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent.
- HSBC Flash China PMI Contracts | Global Macro Monitor
The third consecutive below-50 reading of the manufacturing PMI suggested that growth is likely to moderate further, following the sharp drop of 4Q GDP to a three-year low at 8% on a q-o-q seasonally adjusted annualized basis.
- Triple A judgment is mixed blessing for Berlin – FT.com
The judgment is a mixed blessing: it ensures that Berlin’s borrowing costs remain minimal. But by suggesting its eurozone partners are less credit-worthy, the agency has underlined Germany’s lonely role as the anchor of stability for 17-nation monetary union. That could yet prove very expensive.
- Le Figaro – Conjoncture : L’Allemagne, affectée par la crise, reste inoxydable
Le gouvernement revoit ses prévisions de croissance à la baisse face à l’aggravation de la crise en zone euro. Standard & Poor’s estime toutefois que le pays ne perdra pas son AAA, même en cas de récession.
- "At Apple Everything Is A Secret" | TechCrunch
All companies have secrets, of course. The difference is that at Apple everything is a secret.-Adam Lashinsky, Inside Apple
- Alan Greenspan’s ship of fools | Dean Baker | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
The Fed’s FOMC is supposed to steer the US economy to prosperity. As we now see, it was completely rudderless in 2006
- Fears rise over Commerzbank and MPS – FT.com
Officials said that it looked "almost inevitable" that a fresh injection of state funds would be needed at Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena and Germany’s Commerzbank. "These are the big cases," said one.
- Class Action Lawsuit Alleges JP Morgan Engaged in Systematic Document Fabrication to Move Mortgage Losses from Its Books into Mortgage Backed Securities « naked capitalism
To our knowledge, the suit filed by Ernest Michael Bakenie against JP Morgan is the first to accuse a major bank of widespread, systematic residential mortgage documentation and fraud
- The Dubious Case For Privileging Capital Gains – NYTimes.com
in the real world, governments must collect taxes, and given that necessity, making that tax collection as simple and efficient as possible can easily trump more rarefied notions of efficiency.
- U.S. Leads Other Nations in Deleveraging – Real Time Economics – WSJ
Across the world’s ten largest mature economies, total debt – government and private-sector borrowing – has grown since the 2008-09 financial crisis due largely to government debt, the McKinsey Global Institute says in a new report released Thursday. But in three countries – the United States, South Korea, and Australia – the ratio of total debt to GDP has declined.
- FT Alphaville » More on bank loan growth
The details of bank earnings have mostly followed the pattern set by JP Morgan last week: weak trading revenues, a focus on expenses, higher loan growth, residual worries about legacy mortgage businesses and litigation.
- Emerging-market multinationals: The rise of state capitalism | The Economist
The spread of a new sort of business in the emerging world will cause increasing problems
- What Eurozone Crisis? | Global Macro Monitor
Wow! Check the moves in the large Eurozone bank stocks today and for the week. And, unlike the U.S. market, on heavy volume. Euro sovereign spreads are bit tighter on the week with exception of Portugal, which Standard and Poor’s relegated to the junkyard last Friday.
- Deutsche Analyst Sounded Alarm When Asked to Alter Numbers – ProPublica
At a time when mortgage-backed securities were imploding and customers were fleeing the market, a junior analyst at Deutsche Bank AG protested when he was asked to alter the numbers in a spreadsheet to make a Deutsche security look less risky to ratings agencies, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
- So Why Has the IMF Asked for $500 Billion That it Probably Won’t Get? « naked capitalism
Lagarde’s request may indeed be a tacit admission that the IMF knows that the ECB won’t go the distance, as well a precaution, not just on a practical level (to try to have as much firepower as possible) but on the political (to say she did what she could when the IMF is the target of blame-mongering, which is what will happen if/when a crisis breaks loose).
- 222 Years Of Long-Term Interest Rates | The Big Picture
I love these giant long term charts. This one covers more than two centuries. It looks at long term US interest rates – the 30 year bond where available:
- Irwin on the Great Depression and the Gold Standard | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty
Douglas Irwin of Dartmouth College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role the gold standard played in the Great Depression. Irwin argues that France systematically accumulated large amounts of gold in the late 1920s and 1930s, imposing massive deflation on the rest of the world. Drawing on a recent paper of his, Irwin argues that France’s role in worldwide deflation was greater than that of the United States and played a significant role in the economic contraction that followed.
- Romney’s Tax Bill and G.O.P. Defecit Problems – NYTimes.com
Mr. Romney’s tax plan – which calls for permanently extending the Bush administration’s tax cuts, reducing the corporate income tax rate and eliminating the estate tax – would cut the taxes of people earning more than a million dollars a year by an average of $295,874, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research group.
- Why it’s time to break up the ‘too big to fail’ banks – The Term Sheet: Fortune’s deals blog Term Sheet
Customers would benefit, the U.S. government would benefit, and – believe it or not – the big banks themselves would do better.